South Los Angeles Psychology Doctoral Internship

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship Program is pleased to announce that applications are currently being accepted for two full-time, one-year positions for the 2021-2022 internship year.  Each intern will be selected for different tracks:  (1) Child and Adolescent Track, (2) Adult Outpatient/ Psychological Testing Track.  Our current salary is $42,696.00 plus benefits.

The South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship Program is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis until the positions are filled by qualified applicants who have completed all of their coursework, and are accruing hours towards receiving a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

View/download program brochure

Description of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), with a budget of approximately $2.4 billion, is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating programs in more than 85 sites, and providing services through contract programs and LACDMH staff at approximately 300 sites co-located with other County departments, schools, courts and various organizations.  Each year, the County contracts with close to 1,000 organizations and individual practitioners to provide a variety of mental health-related services. On average, more than 250,000 County residents of all ages are served every year.


Philosophy and Goals of the Training Consortium

The South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship program and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health are dedicated to the training and professional development of clinical psychologists interested in working in community mental health, with diverse cultural and ethnic populations throughout the lifespan.  There are two overarching goals of our program:

  1. To develop competent, culturally sensitive professionals who are prepared to practice psychology in a diverse community setting
  2. To facilitate the development of a professional identity as a psychologist in a multidisciplinary setting.  Thus, the program is designed to provide psychology interns with the experiences essential in making the transition from student to clinical psychologist.

These experiences are provided in a variety of community settings with a wide array of programs and services.  These programs include: emergency evaluation and crisis intervention; adult outpatient and child outpatient programs; collaborations with other Los Angeles County agencies and community outreach services.  Interns also work with multidisciplinary teams e.g., psychiatrists, social workers, case managers, nurses, recreation/occupational therapists, substance use counselors and other disciplines.  All interns are expected to become competent in the provision of culturally relevant care within the realm of their expertise.

The internship program is influenced by the “Local Clinical Scientist” model as described by Stricker, G., & Trierweiler, S. (1995).  This model emphasizes the role of scientific inquiry within each unique setting and encounter.  Thus, the Local Clinical Scientist approach permits interns to integrate scientific knowledge acquired in formal training while considering unique demographic factors in the community that are crucial in the assessment and treatment of our consumers.  Elements of this model that are critical to our program include:

  • Recognizing the benefit of applying scientific knowledge and attitude to a clinical setting.
  • Acknowledging the application of empirical data with a certain degree of informed skepticism and uncertainty depending on the context and uniqueness of the client and setting.
  • Enhancing the utilization of these skills requires an enhancement of observational skills, particularly of the self and of one’s own biases as a way of understanding the impact of the self in each interaction and the therapeutic process.

Appreciating and using a continual process of evaluating the clinical environment and interaction as a way of modifying treatment to best meet the needs of the client.

We also incorporate a developmental approach within our training philosophy that emphasizes not only refining and enhancing the clinical skills of the interns, but also in developing a maturing professional identity.  Developmentally, interns are expected to proceed from a beginning/entry level student clinician to a junior level psychologist.  The mentoring relationship progresses from that of a student-supervisor role to one of emerging colleagues.  In the second half of the year, when available, interns may be provided with opportunities, such as supervision of externs to increase their training and experience in the multiple roles of clinical psychologists.  The interns are expected to learn how to integrate professional psychological services into a coordinated network of care within the local community.

Introduction of Programs

As a part of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), the South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship consists of two programs:

  1. Augustus Francis Hawkins Mental Health Center (Adult Outpatient/Psychological Testing Track)
  2. Specialized Foster Care Service Area 6 (Child/Adolescent Track)

Interns will be evaluated and pending successful performance within their primary track will be given the opportunity to rotate to the secondary track and a rotation amongst these 2 programs.
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship Program is dedicated to training and assisting in the professional development of doctoral psychology interns.  The program is committed to reducing disparity in mental health care and takes pride in serving traditionally underserved populations in the community of South Los Angeles.

Each intern will carry a caseload of clients and receive individual and group supervision.  In addition, psychology interns will attend a variety of weekly didactic seminars. Approximately, fifty to sixty percent of the internship time will be dedicated to providing direct face-to-face services.  Psychology interns are expected to attend all mandatory training meetings including case conferences, didactics, group/ individual supervision unless approved by the training director.

1. Augustus Francis Hawkins Mental Health Center (AFHMHC)

Augustus Hawkins

The internship is designed to provide experiences geared toward the development of psychological skills in working with seriously mentally ill and culturally diverse adult clients.  Interns learn how psychological assessment augments the diagnostic and treatment interventions of mental health professionals.  Interns also learn how trauma focused recovery and evidence based group psychotherapeutic approaches can be applied to the treatment of seriously mentally disordered and culturally diverse clients.  Interns will have the opportunity to rotate through our Triage/Walk-In section, where interns learn rapid screening, intake, diagnosis, and disposition under supervision of licensed personnel.  The program also emphasizes the impact of cultural and socioeconomic influences on diagnosis and treatment.

We strive to accomplish these goals by equipping students with the requisite knowledge and skills to work effectively in a community setting.  Specifically, the clinical psychology staff will provide psychology intern training in clinical interventions that are evidence-based and embedded within the milieu of the AFHFMHC trauma- focused recovery model.  Thus, the program is designed to provide psychology interns with the experiences essential in making the transition from student to clinical psychologist.  The specific training model of the training program is the “Local Clinical Scientist” model as described in Stricker, G., & Trierweiler, S. (1995).

2. Specialized Foster Care

Specialized Foster Care

The Specialized Foster Care track represents a coordinated, collaborative effort between DMH and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to address the specialized mental health needs of children under the supervision of DCFS, some of whom are living at home with parents and some whom are living in foster care.  Psychology interns will engage in comprehensive clinical training that is multidisciplinary and provides an introduction to the specific and unique needs of children and families engaged with the child welfare system.  The training program utilizes a combination of didactic trainings, experiential immersion and mentorship as structural tools to enhance competency.  Interns will receive clinical opportunities in the following areas: Evidence-Based Practices (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy); Intake, Assessment and Triage; Psychological Testing and Assessment; short-term therapy; Crisis evaluation and intervention; case consultation; advocacy; and participation in DCFS engagement meetings (e.g. Family Team meetings).

Interns will complete mental health screenings; comprehensive psychosocial and developmental assessments; and intensive in-home and evidence-based treatment approaches shown to be effective in treating the unique needs of the foster care population.  Clinical services are delivered primarily in the field.  Interns will consult with the Specialized Foster Care multidisciplinary team, that consists of social workers, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, lawyers, medical caseworkers, marriage and family therapists, substance abuse counselor and community workers to ensure the children’s’ mental health needs are met.  Interns will receive specialized training to ensure strength- based assessments are completed.


Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Diversity Mission Statement

South Los Angeles Psychology Internship Consortium is committed to recruiting a high-achieving, diverse doctoral intern group and providing access and a clear path in making the transition from student to clinical psychologist.


Required Qualification for Candidates

Applicants must have completed all the following formal requirements toward Ph.D. or Psy.D., including:

  • Degree candidacy in Clinical Psychology program, and be in good standing from an APA accredited university program.
  • All course work necessary for the title of doctoral candidate including comprehensive exams by the start of internship, which is August 2, 2021.
  • Candidates must provide proof of enrollment in a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology accredited by the American Psychology Association with your application at the time of filing.
  • Provide a copy of unofficial transcript from APA accredited university program.
  • Possess a valid California Class C Driver License.
  • Successfully completed practicum or half-time internship (i.e. minimal of 500 cumulative supervised hours in direct clinical service and at least 400 direct therapy hours: with no less than 300 accrued in the doctoral program, no later than selection interview date)
  • Please include all hours of practicum and experience
  • Acceptance of dissertation proposal by dissertation committee no later than the date of the internship position.
    • Please note we will not accept any post-doctoral candidates

Preferred Qualifications for Candidates

The South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship Program seeks individuals who are team players, have strong communication skills, practice good self-care, and are open to learning. The internship program values self-reflection as a tool for professional development.

For Adult/Psychological Testing track, an applicants’ experience with administering, scoring, and interpreting neurological, intellectual and personality assessment measures will be given serious consideration.

Bilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.


Application Procedures

Interested candidates should submit the following documents by email to Deonna Wilson

  1. Please put the following in the subject line:  Psychology Internship Application – Applicant’s Last Name.   We do not accept any paper materials.
    • Cover letter (Please clearly state which track(s) you are applying for.)
    • Current Curriculum Vitae
    • Official graduate transcript(s)
    • The Neuropsychology program requires the above information and these additional documents:
      • A list of formal and informal neuropsychology-related coursework (course title, grade, institution)
      • One de-identified neuropsychological assessment report
  2. The following documents are also required and are to be emailed by your stated references directly to Deonna Wilson
    • Please put Psychology Internship Application – Applicant’s Last Name in the subject line.
    • The academic program’s Verification of Internship Eligibility and Readiness.
    • Three letter of reference with at least two from clinical supervisors who speak directly about the quality of your clinical work and your engagement in clinical supervision.
  3. In order to complete the application process, all applicants are required to fill out a Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health online application for CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY INTERN position (Job number: b8694A).  Failure to follow this step may result in disqualification.  Please refer to the LACDMH website for more details and instructions on completing the application.  If you have any questions regarding completing the County Internship Application, please contact Joshua Goldman at or  (213) 972-7046.
    • In order to receive credit for experience contained in your resume, your employment history must be documented in month/year (MM/YYYY) format, reflecting starting and ending dates and include the number of hours worked per week.

South Los Angeles Doctoral Psychology Internship Consortium accepts applications on a rolling basis until the positions are filled by qualified applicants.

NO person at this training consortium will solicit, accept, or use any application information from any intern applicant.

Please note: A background check will be completed upon hire, based on HR requirements, and hiring is contingent upon passing our background check.


Contact Information

Any questions regarding the internship or application procedures should be directed to:

Adult Outpatient/ Neuropsychology Track at Augustus Hawkins MHS

Yoshado Lang, Ph.D., Supervising Psychologist

Child and Adolescent Track at Specialized Foster Care

Irma Vazquez-Perez Psy.D., Supervising Psychologist

Chrystal Evans Psy.D., Supervising Psychologist